In this article, will be discussing seven ways you can prioritize your health during the summer months. We want to make sure that not only do you have fun with your friends and family and enjoy the great outdoors, but that you can make sure that once the temperature drops, you’ll not only look back fondly on the memories but also on your state of health after the fact.
It might go without saying that we are typically more active during warmer months than cooler months, but the fact is the more active you stay, the better off you’ll be. So, don’t be afraid to look for opportunities to get yourself on the beach or on the field! In fact, the CDC lists all kinds of benefits to staying active throughout the summer months.
Short Term Benefits
Lower Anxiety: One of the reasons that people tend to get so anxious during cooler months is because they’re stuck in the house all day long. If you’re out there moving that body all day long, you’ll find that stress and anxiety will be much less of an issue.
Balanced Blood Pressure: Our bodies are designed to move — not sit on the couch all day long. By working your heart in a healthy way, your body is able to manage your blood pressure better whether you’re at rest or add play.
Long Term Benefits
Stay Sharp: while you probably know that physical activity keeps your body in better shape, did you know it can do the same thing for your brain? In fact, multiple studies have shown that the more physically active you are on a regular basis, the more likely you are to avoid problems later on such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia as well as depression.
Prevent Cancer: Your body really appreciates you being as active as possible. One of the most surprising benefits of physical activity is its connection to cancer rates. Believe it or not, greater physical activity has been linked to lower rates of eight cancers, which include bladder, kidney, lung, stomach, esophagus, breast, and endometrium cancers.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN
Going out on the beach and getting some rays are definitely good for your health. After all, we all know that vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin and one that is absolutely vital not just for our survival but for optimal health. By having exposed skin to the sun, we don’t have to be taking any sort of supplements to keep our bones strong and our body is healthy.
Shade: Don’t overlook the value of a good umbrella or even a tree did get some shade, especially during the brighter times of the day.
Sunscreen: Be sure to use a broad-spectrum product with a minimum of SPF 15. Even if you want to get a tan, a lower SPF sunscreen will still allow that to happen while offering you a bit of protection along the way.
Long Sleeves: When you don’t need to have too much exposed, such as when you’re resting, don’t be afraid to wear long sleeve clothing to cover up skin without needing to use sunblock. This is especially important for people who are sensitive to products such as sunscreen.
Sunglasses: People tend to forget that your eyes need protection from the sun as well. Long-term exposure to the sun without protection has been linked to cataracts and other ocular disorders. This is especially true for people with lighter eyes and/or a family history of eye issues.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM BUGS
Summer brings with it all sorts of nasty critters that we don’t even think about when we spend our time indoors. These include the common lineup of mosquitoes, ticks and flies. While they’re typically thought of as nuisances, the fact is that these insects can carry a wide variety of diseases depending on where you live.
Thankfully, keeping yourself safe from ne’er do well insects doesn’t have to be that complicated.
Long Sleeves and Pants
If you find yourself in an area that you know is home to bugs (such as forests, standing water and tall grasses), be sure to keep your skin covered. You can feel free to wear thin clothing but just make sure that it’s not skin tight so that an unwanted mosquito proboscis can’t make its way in.
Whether you can’t avoid wearing shorts in short sleeves or just want to have some extra protection, there are plenty of bug repellents on the market. Whether you want to go the traditional route of DEET or perhaps are looking for something more natural, anything that you use to repel bugs is going to work out for you in the long run.
Ready for some health tips for summer heat? Even if you’ve been waiting for the heat for the last six months or so, be careful of long-term heat exposure. This is especially true for areas that regularly have temperatures that rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). If you know that you are going to be outside for a long time doing vigorous exercise, watch the news to see what the conditions will be that day so you can plan accordingly.
Even if you aren’t exercising a little hard out, even just existing in high temperatures can be dangerous. Anytime you find yourself in a situation where your surrounding temperature is above normal body temperature, you need to immediately find a way to keep yourself cool. This can include making sure that you have proper ventilation or have access to something that can cool you down, such as air conditioning or cold water.
There’s a series of heat-related illnesses that should be watched for during times of high heat, especially for those who are more vulnerable such as the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions.
These are literally cramps that you get as a result of heat and perhaps a bit of dehydration for good measure. Like other cramps you might typically get, these are brought on or worsened the warmer you get.
According to the Mayo Clinic, this is a condition that’s more serious than heat cramps but it’s probably something that can be treated by finding a cooler place and drinking plenty of water. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include:
- Cool, moist skin with goosebumps when in the heat
- Low blood pressure upon standing
- Heavy sweating
Again, the Mayo Clinic helps us to understand the differences between heat exhaustion and heatstroke. As far as the treatment is concerned, it’s most likely that somebody is going to need immediate medical attention if they get to this point. While the symptoms can include many of the same as heat exhaustion, they can also include:
- Rapid breathing
- Flushed skin
- Altered thinking or confusion
- Rapid heart rate
EAT A HEALTHY DIET
Just like with physical activity, eating a healthy diet is a double threat in that it not only helps you to look better, but it gives you a whole wide range of benefits to your health that you can see both in the short term and the long term. It’s no surprise that the father of western medicine, Hippocrates, famously said, “let thy food be thy medicine and my medicine thy food.”
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Of course, be sure to listen to your body. Don’t follow a certain number of hours just because you read it in a book. If you find yourself being more tired, then go to sleep earlier. But if you feel fine after sleeping a shorter amount than is normal for you, then don’t force yourself to stay in bed because that can actually bring its own issues.